Aging, childbirth, obesity, and hormonal changes can put pressure on the muscles and tissues of the pelvis. In some women, this pressure can lead to a condition known as pelvic organ prolapse.
Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when the pelvic organs can slide down from their normal position. When the uterus, rectum, or bladder move downward, they can put pressure on the vagina and pelvic floor. They may even protrude out of the vagina.
Pelvic organ prolapse can cause uncomfortable and embarrassing symptoms such as urinary or fecal incontinence. But fortunately, we can treat pelvic organ prolapse and relieve the symptoms.
About Pelvic Organ Prolapse
In the United States, one in five women suffers from pelvic organ prolapse. The most common cause is vaginal childbirth, although it can also occur in women who have not given birth vaginally.
In addition to urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse can also cause constipation and a feeling of pressure in the pelvic area. Symptoms may worsen at the end of the day, during or after exercise, and with coughing or sneezing.
If pelvic organ prolapse is detected during an examination, our physicians will create an individualized Pelvic Organ Prolapse Treatment plan based on your symptoms and condition. Treatment may include one or more of the following:
Pelvic floor exercises.
These exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that hold your organs in place. For example, exercises known as Kegels can be very effective in strengthening the pelvic floor muscles.
Inserting these silicone devices into the vagina can provide support for prolapsed organs. Pessaries can be used in conjunction with vaginal estrogens to make them more comfortable.
If conservative treatments do not provide adequate relief or the organ prolapse is severe, we may recommend surgery. The type of surgery we recommend depends on the specific characteristics of your condition and whether you plan to become pregnant in the future.
There are two types of surgical treatment for prolapse:
Non-return descent surgery, which eliminates weaknesses in the pelvic floor muscles.
Colpoclysis, in which the vagina is closed so that the pelvic organs are not pushed inward.
Some women do not see a doctor for pelvic organ prolapse because they are embarrassed or because they think nothing can be done about it. However, you shouldn’t wait too long to get the help you need. If you have symptoms, call us to schedule an evaluation here for Pelvic Organ Prolapse Treatment.